Attorney for Robbery Charges in Sarasota
Regardless of the circumstances, robbery is always filed as a felony in the state of Florida. If you have been charged with this crime, you will likely face some very serious penalties that following a conviction. A sentence may include fines, probation, and substantial time in state prison. Sarasota criminal defense lawyer Erika Valcarcel has considerable experience with robbery cases and knows how life-shattering this charge can be. With years spent on both sides of the courtroom as a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, she knows how the prosecution approaches robbery charges. By anticipating their strategy, she will be able to construct a strong defense. Whether it involves pointing out rights violations or conducting an independent investigation, she will do everything under the law to protect your freedom.
Call (941) 363-7900 today to see how your charges can be dismissed or reduced, if possible.
The Multiple Forms of Robbery
According to Florida Statute 812.13, robbery is defined as illegally and intentionally taking property or funds from another individual through force, assault, violence, or threat. When this crime is committed with a weapon, such as a firearm, it is referred to as armed robbery. In order to reach a conviction, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The accused took the funds or property from the victim without the victim’s consent, and the property was taken from the victim’s person, the victim’s immediate vicinity, or from an area under the victim’s control.
- The accused took the items through threat, force, intimidation, or any other means that caused the victim to experience fear. This act can take place, before, during, or after the property was taken.
- The property that was taken must have some value, even if it is extremely low. Even a few dollars being stolen could lead to a robbery charge.
- The accused took the property with the intent of depriving the owner of the property.
Penalties and Collateral Consequences
Whether or not a robbery is filed as a first or second-degree felony depends entirely on whether a weapon was used. A robbery conducted with a firearm, gun, deadly weapon, or any other weapon, is filed as a first-degree felony, whereas a robbery committed without a weapon will be filed as a second-degree felony. Penalties for this crime include, but are not limited to:
- Robbery (Second Degree Felony): Up to 15 years in prison
- Robbery (First Degree Felony): Up to life in prison
In addition to criminal sentencing, there are collateral and far-reaching consequences of being found guilty. Continuing your education might be seriously hindered once you have been convicted of a crime. Most colleges and universities vet applicants before admitting them and many scholarships are off-limits to those with criminal records. Additionally, your attempts to find work and advance might also be severely limited, as most employers shy away from hiring those with conviction histories.
Let Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Protect Your Freedom
With the help of an experienced robbery defense lawyer, it may be possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed. One common defense to robbery is proving that the property is actually yours. Perhaps you were retrieving an item that had been borrowed and not returned, or maybe you lost the item and you were simply retrieving it. It might also be the case that you are the victim of mistaken identity. Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, making it possible that you were misidentified as the perpetrator.
A robbery accusation can have a horrible impact on every aspect of your life. From a ruined career to altered relationships with loved ones, there is no area left unaffected. Sarasota criminal defense attorney Erika Valcarcel of Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. knows that this charge can uproot everything you have worked so hard to establish. She believes that the key to an effective defense is getting to know you and listening to your side of the story. Once all of the details have been gathered, your case can be presented in the best possible light.
Call (941) 363-7900 now for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your unique set of circumstances.